Josh Culp

Playing the Tips

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Expert Picks: WGC-HSBC

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Welcome to Playing the Tips! 

Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our fantasy staffers at 

Yahoo and Golf Channel golf should both return in January. For now, we will look at One-and-Done as well as Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) on Page 1, then head overseas for the Fantasy Race to Dubai on Page 2.


Each week I will think out loud about my process in determining my One-and-Done selection. If you are new to the One-and-Done format, it is like an NFL survivor league. You pick one golfer per week, but you can't use them again all year. 

Last week I narrowed my targets down to Paul Casey, Justin Thomas, and Marc Leishman... I chose the only one of the three that didn't play themselves into a playoff. Doh! That's now two of three weeks where I was honed in on the eventual winner but choose otherwise. Stick to the process and some of those decisions will surely start falling in my direction. Right? 

Starting with the HSBC this week, let's have a look at some course horses: 

Francesco Molinari (Three top 10s in five starts, including 2010 WIN)
Dustin Johnson (WIN-T5-T35)
Paul Casey (Five top 25s; Three top 15s in six visits)
Daniel Berger (T11-T2)
Ross Fisher (T28-T16-T3-T6)
Henrik Stenson (Three top 15s in six trips)
Hideki Matsuyama (WD-T41-WD-WIN)
Marc Leishman (T18-9-T11)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (T7-T16)
Justin Rose (T7-5-T48)

After that, let's look at a (weighted) baseline performance metric since the start of 2014.  

Dustin Johnson
Jason Day
Henrik Stenson
Jon Rahm
Justin Rose
Hideki Matsuyama
Paul Casey
Adam Scott
Matt Kuchar
Patrick Cantlay

Looking at all three lists there is a trio of names that appear on all of them: Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Rose.

This is a WGC event so we have a good chunk of change up for grabs. I don't want to get cute and then end up with a T55. I used Paul Casey last week so he's not an option for me. I want to save DJ for major season most likely. Matsuyama has just one standout performance at Sheshan so I'm fine looking past him. 

That leaves me with Rose or Stenson. There aren't many places to invest in Stenson since he usually makes the bare minimum 15 starts per season. At the same time, Rosey ended the season with four straight top 10s. Based on his social media feed he hasn't put away his clubs since, grinding down in The Bahamas. The final factor is performance on bentgrass greens. Since 2014, he ranks 3rd in this field when it comes to strokes gained per round on bentgrass. Looking at 2017 he ranked 6th in this field, still very solid. I said that was the final factor, but lastly he's posted T7 or better in two of his three trips to Sheshan for the HSBC. I will gladly accept a top 7 this week. Justin Rose is my pick. 

For the Sanderson Farms I will provide the same lists. First, let's look at the top course horses at CC of Jackson: 

William McGirt
Cody Gribble
Chris Kirk
Jason Kokrak
Aaron Baddeley
Vaughn Taylor
Ryan Blaum
Peter Malnati
Blayne Barber
Ben Martin

Then let's see who has the best long-term stats in the field (since 2014): 

Austin Cook

Harris English
Jason Kokrak
William McGirt
Kevin Streelman
Seamus Power
Chris Kirk
Daniel Summerhays
Matt Jones
Vaughn Taylor

I would love to jump on a potential breakout talent like Austin Cook but he's missed the cut in his two trips here. Golfers that check the box in both categories include: William McGirt, Chris Kirk, Jason Kokrak, and Vaughn Taylor

Chris Kirk went through a major slump last season but he's ditched those PXG clubs and is going back to what feels comfortable. A return to Mississippi will certainly help that, posting top 10s in his last four visits to this event, including a win. It doesn't matter what course is hosting, he just likes it down here in the South. I will go with Chris Kirk

Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out selections for one team for each DFS site, per week. 

These lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field. 

I would also advise you to change a roster spot or two if you are trying to enter this lineup yourself. Duplicate entries are no fun. 

FanDuel Picks:

Kyle Stanley ($6,600)
He's always had the tools but it was seemingly the mental aspect that held him back for years. He's in a good place right now, though, so let's keep riding the ball-striking king. 

Matt Kuchar ($8,200): 
Made a prep start on the Japan Golf Tour last week. That is enough to give me confidence that he'll be ready to post his usual top 10 this week. 

Paul Casey ($9,200): 
Continues to rack up top 20s each and every week. Evenutally he has to convert, right? 

Matthew Fitzpatrick ($7,000):
 Still just 23-years old, it's hard to believe he's nowhere near his peak. He continues to work on his strength training but in the meantime, his short game keeps leading him to victories. He won't stay winless on the PGA TOUR for much longer. 

Hao Tong Li ($5,900): 
Has five career victories worldwide, all have come in his home country of China. If there is ever a week for him to breakout, this is the week. 

Brian Harman ($7,200):  Jet lag was no concern for the lefty last week, posting a T5 at The CJ CUP @ Nine Bridges, his first event of the season. Should be very well suited to Sheshan, a course that reward precision off the tee. 

That leaves plenty of salary to round out the squad with any two golfers at the top. I will round it out with Leishman and Henley, but you should insert a few of your favorites to round out the squad. 

DraftKings Picks:

Hao Tong Li ($7,100): The Shanghai resident had a close call at this event just a few years ago. He entered the final round just one stroke off the lead. In the past he's taken time off to head back to Shanghai before the event, just to prep for the course. This event means A LOT to him, and his countrymen. He can also reach the bottom of the cup quickly, posting better birdie rates than the field he's faced in 7-of-11 PGA TOUR starts. 

Tony Finau ($7,700): 
Wildly underpriced here as he racks up birdies and eagles with the best of them. He nearly always outperforms other golfers at his finishing position. 

Marc Leishman ($9,900): 
Coming off a playoff loss to Justin Thomas in Korea, let's ride the hot hand. 

Daniel Berger ($8,300):
 We get a discount compared to last week but this time he enters with solid course history. In two trips he's rattled off T11 and T2 finishes.

Russell Henley ($7,600):
 A three-time TOUR winner who can catch fire with his irons. His short game is always smooth. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,200): One of the biggest differentials when it comes to performance on bentgrass versus other putting surfaces. This Englishman is always a nice option on bentgrass. The fact that he's priced among the PGA TOUR stars will leave him very under-owned.  


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Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp

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